Our concept of God means more to our healing than anything else we do in this program. How do we see God? Who is this God that we are talking about? I do not believe that we can move forward until we can see that God loves us and wants to heal us. The problem is so many of us have a wrong concept of God. We avoid God because of this wrong concept.
We need to have the concept of God as a God who loves us unconditionally. None of us are perfect and God does not expect us to be perfect. This is what grace is all about.
“To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” Luke 15:11-32
The story of the prodigal son is a story of God’s love for us. It is the story of God that loves us more than we can imagine. God would not even let us tell our story of how sorry we are for our sins. God just wanted us home. It does not matter what the son had done. It doesn’t matter where the son had been. All that matters was that the son was home. Home where he belonged. This is how God feel about us. He just wants us home where we belong. This is what grace is all about.
“In Jesus, God has put up a “Gone Fishing” sign on the religion shop. He has done the whole job in Jesus, once and for all, and simply invited us to believe it – to trust the bizarre, unprovable proposition that in Him, every last person on earth is already home free without a single religious exertion: no fasting till your knees fold, no prayer you have to get right or else, no standing on your head with your right thumb in your left ear and reciting the correct creed – no nothing…The entire show has been set to rights in the Mystery of Christ – even though nobody can see a single improvement. Yes, it’s crazy, and yes, it’s wild, and outrageous, and vulgar. And any God who would do such a thing is a God who has no taste, And worst of all, it doesn’t sell worth beans. But it is Good News – the only permanently good news there is – and therefore I find it captivating.” (Robert Capon)
I don’t understand grace but I praise God for His grace. Where would I be without God’s wonderful grace? This is a grace that pays the eager beaver who works all day long the same wages as the person who shows up at ten till five. A grace that hikes up the robe and runs breakneck toward the prodigal who has sinned and wraps him up and decides to throw a party no ifs, ands or buts. A grace that raises bloodshot eyes to a dying thief’s request, “Please remember me” and assures him, “you bet.” This is grace. This grace is compassion. It works without anything of us. Jesus Christ left His Father’s side not for heaven’s sake but for our sakes, yours and mine. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover.
This kind of grace is hard to conceive. We have been taught that we must do something in order for God to love us. There is nothing that we can do for God so that He will love us any more or any less. He loves us with an unconditional love.
Laurie Beth Jones writes in her book “Jesus in Blue Jeans”, “Many years ago I dreamed that I saw a man standing in a meadow. Suddenly I saw a man approaching me. As He got nearer, I gasped to realize that it was Jesus in Blue Jeans. When He saw the expression on my face, He said, “Why are you surprised? I came to them wearing a robe because they wore robes. I come to you in blue jeans because you wear blue jeans.” This is the God that we serve. He is a God that comes to us right where we are. We don’t have to go to Him. He wants a relationship with us so much that He comes to us.
How do you see God?
Do you believe that God loves you?
What concept of God did you have as a child?
Do you believe that God wants to heal you and make you whole?